Cops shouldn’t be soldiers and soldiers shouldn’t preform police actions. This is a general rule of thumb which keeps everyone out of trouble, cops, soldiers, and politicians.
But it seems that our domestic police forces have confused their missions. As we saw in Ferguson and many other places a GI Joe mentality runs through many a local police department. Thanks to the unwise dissemination of war tools (often military surplus), automatic rifles, mine resistant vehicles (MRAPs), even grenade launchers, by Washington DC, we now have police mini-armies all over the country. Every county practically now has a SWAT team. The Department of Education has a SWAT team. Call them the ninja-bureaucrats. These folks must to have the biggest guns, because let’s face it, some people need to to feel adequate.
Perhaps I’m being a bit unfair. It’s not all “male shame.” The world is a dangerous place and cops have a hard job. I don’t think many of us would trade places with officer Bill. I know I sure wouldn’t.
But a highly weaponized, a militarized, local police force is not healthy for a community. I’m sorry if you think that you need a giant rolling battering ram in your little town to bust the local meth cook, but you’re wrong.
Cops are cops. Soldiers are soldiers. In this country we have always made this distinction for very good reason. This distinction should remain. If we continue to let the lines blur we will regret it.
Sorry, as John Oliver recently said, “It’s time to take the f—ing toys away.”
(From The Daily Beast)
In an attempt to counter widespread concern over “militarized” local police departments, law enforcement groups are pressing Capitol Hill to not cut off the supply of armored vehicles, body armor and other military equipment to the nation’s cops.
This week, the National Tactical Officers Association, the lobbying group for 1,600 SWAT teams across the country, emailed all legislative staffers in the House and Senate to express that they shared in “our nation’s grief” over the events in Ferguson, Missouri.
But their ultimate message was unmistakable: Don’t take away our gear.